Ella an eight-year-old girl disappears on her way to school. All that is found is a piece of candy and the girl's bicycle hidden in a swamp. Inspector Kurt Wallander just back from his suspension takes on the case eager to get back to work. The first suspects are Ella's parents who are fighting in court as to whom should be their daughter's legal guardian. The father has also threatened to take Ella to his home country Chile. When the girl's mother is found dead in a remote cabin Wallander realises that they are chasing a very desperate and disturbed person. The hunt takes Wallander back in time to an old case with a little girl who was never found. A case where Wallander blamed himself for not finding the girl. He doesn't want that to happen again. When he suddenly finds links between the two cases he realises that this is far worse than he could imagine. Who has done it? Will Wallander find the girl before it is too late?